1 year. 12 months. 52 weeks. 365 days. 8,765 hours. 525,948 minutes. 31,555,926 seconds.
What did I do during 2010?
January 1st I was freezing down on Grand, in St. Louis, for First Night, with Emmanuel Gutierrez. We watched the clock, the insane Juggling Jeff, listening to the incredible abilities of The Cadence Drumline, and taking pictures on what would become an absolute staple for me, my Droid. Gained a new friend for life who forever makes me smile, thank you Tiffany Axton. Dominated the building of the Arch at the Science Center with Larissa Hunt, Jared Hunt, Riley Ries, Logan Braswell, Josh Walker, Veronica Schwartz, Sam DeWald, and others. Took a ride in Grease Lightning with Amanda Tate and Taylor Hicks at The Fabulous Fox. Then both of us drooled over the beautiful cars at the St. Louis Auto Show. We celebrated Amanda’s 21st birthday with a night filled with Olive Garden, Brunswick bowling, and friends. And I cried at the devastation left from the Earthquake in a country all too familiar to my family. Haiti, I love you, my grandpa Carlton Barton loved you, and you will forever be in my prayers.
On February 6th I shaved my head, for the first time ever, and raised over $1,000 in donations for my beautiful Aunt Erica Albert to help her fight Ovarian Cancer. The unfinished video of the whole process gained almost 25,000 views on YouTube from, literally, all over the world. Followed by a flop of 106 views for two syrups jars vomiting into a cup at IHOP with Ryan Tate and Erica Anderson. I branded and predicted the greatness of the year with a toast at Epicly Everafter, our Valentine’s Banquet for the youth group, as we all embarked on a new Endeavour with Aaron Batchelor and Breanna Batchelor.
In March I fooled the world with my Danny Gokey look-a-like profile picture on Facebook. Created an ongoing list of Rules I will forever abide by and challenge others with. Rule #1 - Live. Rule #2 Love. Rule#3 – Laugh. Rule#4 Learn. Rule#5 Laugh. Dance. Conquer. Rule #6, I like it quiet in the morning. Rule#8 Don't be stupid. Rule#10 Be Epic!!! Rule #11 - Enjoy the little things. Rule #12 Never settle with doubt. Rule #13. Don't just Live in the moment Rule #14, No regrets. Rule#16 Take Time to Breath Rule #18 Always wear deodorant. Rule #24, Christmas lights should be gone no later than the first week in January. Rule #28 - Step outside of the box. Rocked out with Kristin Sims at the John Mayer & Michael Franti & Spearhead concert. Downed disgusting Lemon Water from Sonic with Brianna Whitman. Bugged Lindsay Stephenson as much as possible at Verizon.
In April, Amanda, Riley and I traveled as the three best friends anyone could have to Missouri Youth Convention in Kansas City. Anxiously waited for an update on my phone with Issa David. Zac Klinedinst, Riley Ries, Jeremiah Klinedinst, Sam DeWald, Amanda Tate, Tyler Cummings, and I gave a going away night to the beautiful and talented Kalee Christian, as she moved on to warmer weather and pastoral duties. Stopped tasting our tongues and Road tripped with Amanda, Sam, Riley, Tiffany A., and Jeremy Prino to Lambert’s in Sikeston, Missouri as one of the five best friends anyone could have. Made new friends, incredible memories, and great BBQ with Joanna Moncayo, Chris Chiodo, and Courtlyn Martin. Gained an awesome friend and wonderful mentor in Louis Green at A’mis in O’Fallon, and finished with a nice talk over tickets with the Missouri Highway Patrol.
In May, I decided to make a stand a create a better Life by spreading Love and Peace Pics, from random everywhere’s from Summer Ratcliff to Southwest Airlines love from Charollotte Andriotis. I added sweet, loud, crisp, clean SkullCandy Full Metal Jacket headphones to my effects, and name my phone The Alfred Droid, it felt fitting. I gave a “Congratulations” toast to Alex Braswell, Riley Ries, Lerie Gabriel, Amy Henson, Lindsay Sims, Tyler Cummings, Christi Crossley, and Alyssa Morgan, the high school/college graduates of the year. Laughed until I cried watch Young Frankenstein at The Fabulous Fox with Amanda Tate. Shed a tear watching the Special Olympics Torch journeyed down the highway. Watched another finale of American Idol with my favorite family, Jeramy Hearn, Heather Hearn, and Carter Hearn.
In June, I received hundreds of Birthday wishes while playing golf with Sam DeWald. Then beginning a scavenger hunt starting with one envelope, which lead me to Applebee’s where Sam DeWald handed me a clue and Mountain Dew with strawberry and mango. Then met Riley Ries at Target who had another clue and brownies. After I found Brittany Drummond at QT with a Monster energy drink and hint, that led me to a rendition of Chris Daughtry’s Home sang by Tyler Cummings at Gateway. All of this put together lead me to my home, where a surprise birthday party was waiting. Thank you Amanda Tate for the best Birthday Part I’ve ever had. Partied with Sonny Albert and Lois Albert at their 50th Anniversary party in Hannibal.
In July, we celebrated and watched Fireworks on top of a parking garage with Leann Drummond, Jared Thacker, Malorie McClintock and more. Had Chai Tea Latte with Angel Taylor and Kim Pitts, and found Natasha Bedingfield’s Touch with Becca Da’nae Radford. Had a Family Reunion in Hannibal and met Robin Carnahan. Wow… that was a fast month. All that was left was a long night at the City Museum with all my peoples and Morgan Sharkhetti.
Only 2 days into August and I had the day from hell at work, my truck broke down and ended up having an 18 hour work day… ok, so it wasn’t all that bad cause the paycheck was NICE! Went to the first and only Cardinals game with Anthony Telano, Chasity Shea Telano, Dylan Brown, and Arianna Telano; the Astros beat the Cards just for Dylan. Saw Mark Wahlberg, Will Ferrell, and the “Mayor” of the Delmar Loop in Chesterfield, then experienced sweet heavenly goodness from an Apple Crumble at Brickhouse. Plugged in my new computer and closed out the old laptop. Then adventured with The Expendables... that movie was so awesome. And I found out What had happen was, wasn’t always what had happened.
September 1st I heard the great statement ever, “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.” Words to live by, remember them. Got Flash Player on my phone and attempted to show Carissa Marie that Android is much better than iPhone, she’s stubborn, but beautiful so it’s ok. Kept my silence and memories on 9/11. And voted for the New Life Youth Group to venture out as Fusion Youth Ministries. Watched the greatest father ever, Darrell Barton hit… 50 years old… yeah, for real I know. Shhh…he’s old now.
In October Riley helped me find the coolest paint ever, IdeaPaint. Seriously, check this stuff out it’s awesome… still haven’t used it, but I will some day. Finally remembered I still had a MySpace, but could never remember my password. Started wonderful religious controversy between John Willis and Michael Henson and another group of people, and challenged them to Richard Simmons their minds. Had an awesome weekend! Watched Dylan Anderson& Ryan Tate play Ping Pong withErica Anderson,Brittany Cozart,Amanda Tate, Riley Ries, and Euvila Clayton Shields, creating one of the greatest inside jokes… ever. Went to Praise in the Park at Silver Dollar City in Branson with the Missouri Youth District. Was inspired by the movie “It’s Kind of a Funny Story.” Announced my Presidential campaign for 2020, with Summer Ratcliff as my running mate. Finished up with becoming Tony Stark/IronMan after many, many hours of working on the costume.
In November, I embarked on a life changing book called SoulPancake, by Rainn Wilson. No Joke, BUY THIS BOOK!!! You will not regret it. On the 10th, my beautiful and patient mother, Sarah Barton, began the next epic chapter of her life by having gastric bypass surgery. It’s a task, but one I know she is able to handle. Flew to Austin, TX the next day for some Austin Vows, the marriage of my best friend, secretary, and person I owe so much to, Bethany Urshan to Andrew Urshan, sorry your intro isn’t as special Andrew. I toured all over and made some incredible new friends, Angela Pyles in particular who I will never forget. Thanks for the Sixth Street experience. Was blessed by Chuck Carr at Youth Retreat. And filled from Thanksgiving in Hannibal and then Wentzville. Then finished with a challenge for myself on the 29th, no cell phone, no Facebook, no Twitter, no social butterfly, and no Starbucks for one week… yes, I did it too. It was difficult, but it was good. I urge all of you to try it once.
Now in December, I began recharged from my sabbatical. Received my personalized Gold Starbucks card for all of the caffeine I’ve chugged. Had a blast with a poker game with the friends. Did all kinds of shopping. Began and finished an incredible book called “It’s Kind of a Funny Story”, yes, that created the movie. You should definitely read this book too. I read more now than I ever did, and I love it. Christmas was wonderful, my dad slept all the way to Nashville. It was good to see Kyle Jennings, Amber Jennings, Kent Jennings, Tiphany Jennings, Chester Jennings, Debbie Jennings, Mckenna, and Kendra, I haven’t seen them in so long. I love you guys. It was wonderful to see my beautiful cousin Laura Albert too, you are so amazing and nothing will stand in your way. And, of course, I ALWAYS adore seeing Erica Albert, she brightens every moment I get to spend with her. Then there’s the one who I respect more than he’ll ever know, John Albert. Smart, funny, talented, patient, loving, and genuine, I love you John. Keep strong. I haven’t left out Cameron Albert out of this whole thing, I just didn’t get to see him, I love you and I’m more proud of you then you’ll ever imagine.
And so brings me to right now, here I am December 31, 2010. I’m sitting in my living room finishing up all of this, I haven’t slept all night, but I feel great. This year has been everything I started it to be…Epic. It’s been filled with Peace and Love. Spontaneous and adventurous. Beautiful and complete. . What did I do during 2010? No, the question is What didn’t I do during 2010? I’ve finished numerous writings this year. Became a Gold Status member at Starbucks. Sent over 83,000 … yes eighty-three thousand text messages. Had the best memories with David Guetta, found out who to live for with Katy Perry, stared at Angels with Akon, flirted with the beautiful girls with Bruno Mars, woke up in the morning with Kesha, just threw my hands in the air with Taio Cruz, and Laughed, Danced, & Conquered with Ellen. God blessed me this year more than I would have ever imagined. I want to finish with some of my quotes from the year and a little extra, I hope you enjoy. I've whatever wherever whenever with whoever, however never ever known whyever, but now I do. Because we get one chance and one opportunity. Make a new memory or keep an old dream. Don't pass it up. It'll be worth it. No regrets. When you step out onto the huge stage of Life today. Don't disappoint. Make them laugh. Make them feel love. Make them feel alive. And the same will happen to you. Because With the rising of the sun, so do many opportunities. Don't miss them. And remember An Epic Life is just an ellipsis away! So don't get so caught up in the success to the point you forget why you're here. It’s ok to be selfish sometimes, so don't go for a million, go for a billion. Don't want just one Ferrari, want 5. Don't just meet one person, meet the world! Do Everything More, Because this is Life. One day at a time. Some better than others. Few better than all. None better than one. I’m just watching every other day pass while I wait for the one. Be kind. Be strong. March on. Today. Tomorrow. Forever. Always. Love. Laugh. Live. Live Epic. Live Today. Live Now. Peace!!!